While the DOJ continues to run cover for the Bidens, a new report from Insider reveals yet another shady looking transaction involving the first family.
While President Joe Biden promised on the 2020 campaign trail that there would be an "absolute wall" between his family's private business and his official duties, it appears that was yet another lie - as the identities of several buyers of Hunter Biden's art turned out to be "friends." One buyer, whose ideitity remains unknown, spent $875,000 on 11 Hunter Biden artworks, while another received a direct benefit from the Biden White House.
The buyer has been revealed as Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali, a Los Angeles real estate investor and philanthropist who is extremely influential in California Democratic circles, and has given extensively to the Biden administration ($13,414) and the Democratic National Campaign Committee ($29,700). In 2022, Nirsh Naftali hosted a fundraiser headlined by Vice President Kamala Harris.
Hirsh Naftali was appointed to the Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad - a position Hunter had previously suggested he could arrange to have friends seated on. As Insider notes, it's unknown whether Hirsh's purchases were before or after the appointment.
In July 2022, eight months after Hunter Biden's first art opening, Joe Biden announced Hirsh Naftali's appointment to the Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad. It is unclear whether Hirsh's purchase of Hunter Biden's artwork occurred before or after that appointment. Membership on the commission is an unpaid position that is often filled by campaign donors, family members, and political allies — the same crowd that often winds up with US ambassadorial appointments.
In the past, Hunter Biden has privately suggested that he could arrange to have friends seated on the commission. Eric Schwerin, Hunter Biden's longtime business associate, was appointed to the same post by President Barack Obama in 2015. -Insider
"If it was done after her appointment, and she likes the painting, it's less of an issue," said Bruce Weinstein, a professional ethicist and ethics trainer. "It's more of an issue if she's deciding to buy it beforehand. Then it might be perceived as a quid pro quo."
Regardless, "if you really wanted to choose the most ethically appropriate course of action, that would not involve any conflict of interest, real or perceived, then you don't buy the painting," he concluded.
According to House Oversight Republicans, the report reveals "potentially another pay-to-play scheme" involving the Biden family.
🚨 Major Democratic donor and Biden-appointed commissioner Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali has been revealed as a buyer of Hunter Biden’s art, revealing potentially another pay-to-play scheme. https://t.co/vLx2ZwOMC0— Oversight Committee (@GOPoversight) July 24, 2023
According to an administration official, Hirsh Naftali's appointment was made following a recommendation by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and that there's no connection to the art purchases. They added that she's deeply involved in Jewish causes in Los Angeles and Israel, which qualifies her for the role - along with her service on a policy board at the RAND Corporation.
"Hunter Biden is a private citizen who is entitled to have his own career as an artist," said White House spokesperson Ian Sams. "We are not involved in his art sales, and any buyers of his art are not disclosed to the White House."
Hunter's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said that Hunter only learned the identities of Hirsh Haftali and a second buyer after they had purchased his art through the gallery.
"The gallery sets the pricing and handles all sales based on the highest ethical standards of the industry, and does not disclose the names of any purchasers to Mr. Biden," wrote Lowell.
Hunter Biden's gallerist, Georges Bergès, told Insider: "Names of buyers are strictly confidential," adding "Any attempt to get them is illegal and will be reported to the proper authorities."
$875,000 mystery buyer
According to internal documents from Georges Bergès Gallery, a single buyer snagged 11 Hunter Biden artworks for $875,000.
The identity of the $875,000 buyer is unclear. That one buyer represents the majority of the $1,379,000 in receipts that Hunter Biden's gallery received for his work, the documents show, with the gallery receiving a 40 to 45 percent commission. The $875,000 art buyer resides outside New York and purchased some of Hunter Biden's largest format works, including a 12-foot-long red-white-and-blue piece painted on sheet metal and entitled "Pandemonium." -Insider
Insider also reports that the only other art buyer known to Hunter Biden is Kevin Morris, a wealthy LA attorney known as Hunter's 'sugar brother' who was recently spotted smoking a bong on the balcony of his Malubu, California home while Hunter was visiting.
What a small world!